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The outside of the BattleTech Introductory Rulebook:

Photo behind cut! )

The inside of the BattleTech Introductory Rulebook:

Another photo behind cut! )

Seriously, I look at the cover art and I'm like "get this gamer bullshit out of my face." But then I look at the minis photos on the inside and I'm like "d'aww <3"

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This is just a quick note to let everyone know that

  1. We're back from Calgary, and
  2. We haven't sorted vacation photos yet!

Vacation talk + new eReader )

Stay tuned for photos, and also an update on the DW SU RP we were planning before the trip (and before destroying our laptop)!

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I started this off on kind of a grim note, but I want to leave on a hopeful one. 2016 was a fucking mess for a lot of us. It’ll continue to be a mess going forward. A lot of people are freaking out and despairing over this, and it’s understandable--but it doesn’t have to be the only reaction. Games have been a major thing that’s kept me going through all the hard times of my life, this year and all years prior, first as a player and later as a developer. It’s easy to downplay games as a whole as being somewhat trivial or just for idle distraction, but that’s a failure of imagination. Games can tell powerful stories, connect us to each other, or even just make the day easier to get through when we need it. Making games can lets us make tiny worlds that are nice to spend some time in, or more closely resemble the ones we wish we lived in and invite others into them with us. There’s so much power to do so many good things with that, and the easiest way to remind yourself of the good in the world is to create more of it.

So if you’ve ever felt like you want to make a game, there’s no better time than the present. I mean that as more than a platitude--the free tools, information, and other resources available to help you do just that are more numerous than ever. I’ve made some that might be useful to you if you don’t know where to start. If making games would make your world a little brighter, or if you want to make other people’s worlds a little brighter too, I can’t suggest just giving it a try enough.

-- Zoe Quinn's Top 10 Games of 2016

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Destroy “games.”

Destroy “game stores.”

Destroy “gamers.”

Only play games that they have contempt for, with people that they have contempt for, in spaces where they don’t exist.

If they think you're their friend, if they are comfortable around you, then you are complicit in their acts of violence.

Further reading: link

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Rationalists are rarely rational,

Objectivists are anything but,

Realists hold views completely at odds with reality,

And nationalists have very little faith in their or their nation-state's future.

Don't get me started on people whose publicly-facing identities (like Twitter profiles) say that they're a husband, wife, father, mother, or Christian. The more they harp on it, the more they probably suck at it.

I've also noticed that neoliberal Reddit atheists have very firm beliefs about the nature of God and how one should relate to him, and aren't shy about preaching those beliefs. But if you've read my earlier entries, you already know that.

Clarification (or "wow, you seem upset")

I'm actually in a more or less okay mood right now. There's just been some drama going on in the tabletop gaming community, where a well-respected figure basically wrote an apologium for abuse and was publicly scandalized by someone getting mad at their harasser (of several years). A bunch of women called this figure out for making them less credible and their lives more dangerous, and he went on to write like five pages of 'splaining, while a ton of guys cheered him on.

So this has been one of those weekends. -_- And it's affecting people I care about.

On the plus side, new episodes of Steven Universe are running every weekday for the next two weeks, and apparently something big's happening. So, public service announcement: Even if you're normally okay with spoilers, [twitter.com profile] mcburnett, one of the series' writers, says that you really really shouldn't spoil these episodes.

Now to commence two weeks of nerve-wracking tension, including a three-parter separated by a weekend. o-o;

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Posted by [twitter.com profile] farwz on Twitter:

tbh being apolitical is a privilege. some people can't ignore politics bcs politics attack their identity on a daily basis

My existence is apparently the subject of heated political (and theological) debate. As is my right to exist.

Perhaps unfortunately, for people who have decided to be my opponents, I intend to go on existing. And talking about what I go through.

Maybe we can just be friends instead? Playing tabletop games is a lot more fun than arguing. Especially when the whole substance of your argument is "you can't be real, because if you are I would need to rethink my life."

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So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.

It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:

It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.

My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.

Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.

In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?

Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.

40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.

Click here if you can't see the video.

For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.

Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:

Click here if you can't see the video.

Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

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We got to try out a game of Endless Fantasy Tactics with Alias, a day or two ago. It was pretty fun!

Alias' hand picking up a miniature, on top of a hand-drawn isometric 3d map that looks like it came from Final Fantasy Tactics. Various Warhammer 40,000 and Pathfinder miniatures are being used as proxies, and a lot of dice are being used as counters. To one side, there are print-out lists of each model's stats. To the other, there is a magnetic Pathfinder initiative tracking board, with magnets for each mini arranged in initiative order. It also has little red hearts and blue circles for each model's HP and MP.

Those unpainted models are totally beastmen, not XV8 Crisis battlesuits.

It's basically Final Fantasy Tactics: the minis game. Which means we had to draw an isometric map, and HP/MP counters for everyone. Oh, and it uses stat cards normally, so we printed out lists with our models' stats on them instead.

Technically you don't have to go to these lengths. They sell decks of cards for all of the models and items, plus a beginner set with a reconfigurable 3d board. But we wanted to start with the core rulebook, and we figured it wouldn't take that long to make our own play aids.

Turns out, it did ^^; partly because we had to learn how to do layout in Pages first. And then when we actually started playing, our large-sized models took a hit for each square they stand on, every time Alias' Lunarian bunnies AOE'd.

But the Lunarians are just so cute! As are gels, beastmen, and the dreaded Black Kiwi.

(The gels all want to be heroes, or something. It's awesome.)

Anyway, we'll probably be playing this more in the future. And here are some more pics of the play aids we created / used, behind the cut:

Read more... )

Did we mention that [personal profile] aliaspseudonym / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush has been visiting? ^^;;;

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Warmachine, and its companion game, Hordes, were made in the United States. Warhammer 40,000 was made in Great Britain.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like this explains a lot of the differences between the two games.

Read more... )

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"Grimdark" means different things to different people. To some (but definitely not all) 40k players it's a realization of their fantasies ... of being the Defender Of All That Is Normal and getting to shoot up those icky, scary outsiders.

For us, it's like an allegory of the world that we live in. Where we have a small bubble of safety and interestingness surrounded by people who want to make us disappear.

See, the great thing about the Tau isn't just their anime mecha.

A model of a large Tau battlesuit, on our desk surrounded by pieces of work-in-progress miniatures.

Its name is "Cat." Short for "Cataclysm."

It's that despite being small and "insignificant," they keep winning. Against the fascist, blood-and-skulls-loving Imperium. Not because they are better at dealing death, or because their technology is more advanced, but because they value diversity. They make friends out of their enemies, and work together to make things better for everyone.

Also, we like acting out fantasy lazor battles with our miniatures. Battles which are about as far removed from actual warfare and gun fetishism as magical girl anime is.

Now if only there were a magical girl minis game.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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